US Millennium Challenge Corporation is undermining democracy, human rights, justice and peace in Sierra Leone – Op ed

Kabs Kanu: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 November 2022:

African governments are characterized by inefficiency, corruption, and instability. This, plus colonialism and neo-colonialism, have contributed to placing Africa at the bottom of the world economic order. While this state of affairs is untenable, we see also that Western nations want the status quo to continue, rather than pursuing change for the better, because it serves their interests better when Africa remains stuck in the perpetual mud of misgovernance, chaos, instability and economic and political degradation.

It seems to me that Western nations want an Africa that is perpetually mired in bad governance, corruption, chaos, divisions and socioeconomic and political retardation. If it were not so, they would not have been found subtly supporting, enabling and empowering African dictators and fascist and anti- people African governments.

That Western nations do not really mean good for Africa is seen in the draconian conditionalities of the IMF , the World Bank and other Western lending organizations which conditionalities are often recipes for further economic destruction, civil unrest and instability in African countries.

It is also seen in the unfair , unbalanced and cruel world international trade architecture which ensures that African countries do not derive maximum benefits from their rich mineral and other natural resources. An AFRICA that should March forward and take her rightful place in the international economic order should optimize profits from international trade , but this is not the case.

Western nations pay African countries peanuts for their mineral and natural resources while at the same escalating the costs of importing foreign goods into their countries. When I served as a senior diplomat in the last government of President Ernest Bai KOROMA, it was a very serious problem we struggled with. I was left with the belief that the unbalanced state of international trade was deliberated created and promoted by the West to keep AFRICA perpetually locked in economic strangulation.

Africa is by far richer than Western nations . Africa is so blessed with abundant mineral , natural and human resources that had it not been for our continent, the whole world economy would have been in chaos. Why should African countries be poor with all their abundant minerals and yet Western nations that are least endowed with these resources continue to be filthy rich ?

It is true that African countries themselves share the blame for the desperate material poverty of their continent . Mismanagement of resources, corruption, indolence, gross inefficiency and lack of commitment to national developments by successive African governments have conspired to make Africa the poorest continent in the world.

However, the bigger picture would not have been so dire if Western countries did not also have their hands in the African cookie jar. One would have expected the West to use their more advanced political , economic and technological systems to genuinely help Africa out of the morass. But they don’t Instead of helping Africa, the West connives with corrupt, dictatorial and abusive African governments to make matters even worse.

What is happening in Sierra Leone is a typical case. President Maada Bio has failed the people. The SLPP government has woefully failed in all the governance indicators that matter , including corruption, ruling justly, human rights, inclusive governance, rule of law, accountability and transparency.

The president’s security forces have killed protesting youths in major towns in the country and it committed a horrendous massacre of prisoners and correction officers at the Pademba Road Prisons. Yet, the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC ) gave President Bio passes in the indicators above, making a laughable mockery of the professed objectives of the MCC, which include strengthening good governance, economic freedom, investments in people and observation of human rights etc, in the world’s poorest countries.

How can it be said that the MCC mean good for Sierra Leone when they continue giving good grades to President Bio in the very areas where he has failed the nation worse? It could have been excusable where human lives have not been concerned. But if the dead follow up what is happening on this earth, what would the corpses of Evangelist Sampson and all the innocent people this government has killed extrajudicially be feeling to learn that the MCC adjudged that this government is ruling JUSTLY and is going to give them money for it?

What makes the MCC scorecard look more like empowerment of despicably poor governance and dictatorship in Sierra Leone is the stark contradiction between it scores and the 2011 and 2012 U.S State Department Report on Sierra Leone which indicted President Bio’s government for horrific human rights abuses, including unlawful politically – motivated killings of innocent people, serious cases of corruption , unlawful arrests and detention , oppression of opposition supporters and tribalism.

How such a government got an MCC pass in the RULING JUSTLY category beats everybody’s imagination in Sierra Leone. But this is the U.S and Western nations for you. Despite all their posturing and manifestations to the contrary, their African policy is designed to support bad, abusive, corrupt and dictatorial governments in Africa, as long as they do not threaten their vital neo-colonialist interests.

How will President Bio ever know that he is treading the wrong path and needs to change if America, of all countries, keep patting him on the back that he is ruling JUSTLY when he is not? We need the MCC money but should it be at the expense of human lives, human rights, democracy and future peace?

For all intents and purposes, when you look at the deliberate misrepresentation of the real situation on the ground in Sierra Leone by the MCC, which will cause President Bio to wax worse in his abuse of power, human rights violations and uncontrolled corruption, it is safe to say that the MCC is undermining good and just governance, human rights, justice, probity, accountability, peace and stability in Sierra Leone.

 

7 Comments

  1. In 2008, Frank Tunis was to pay a whooping sum of over One hundred (100 M) Million US Dollars to Operate the African Mineral Mines for 5 Years. He did and the then Koroma Government had that money to start several developmental roads projects. Unfortunately, if corruption and embezzlement had not taken the better half of the whooping cash paid to the Government by Mr Frank Tunis, several road projects could have been completed to better standards. But that was not the only problem, two years into the contract, the Chinese came in and opted to operate the same mines. The Corrupt members of the APC created so many problems for Frank Tunis and eventually he left without getting his money’s worth. Then came the Shandong mining company owned by Chinese agglomerates that were willing to pay kickbacks and bribes for the same mines, and who were ready to take over a mine already operated by another investor.

    The Sierra Leone government under president Koroma, criminally reneged on the contract with Frank Tunis. It led to Tunis and his Sierra Leone business partner who had begged him to invest in Sierra Leone to fall apart. That Sierra Leone business partner in no time started expressing his interest to succeed President Koroma as the APC candidate and subsequently president of Sierra Leone.

    With this kind of attitude, how do we expect western businesses to do business with countries in Africa?

    Rwanda where the leadership is sober and truthful, with less mineral resources, they are getting fair shares from investors. Maybe our representatives who negotiate business deals with international investors should go to the negotiation table with a clean hand and then we would get a fair share.

  2. I personally believe that this is a clear testimony of President “Talk and Do” Bio who stated that “some Ayampie Peoples Congress (APC) party members are not good for themselves and our country (Mama Salone)”.

  3. I personally believe that this is a clear testimony of President “Talk and Do” Bio who stated that “ Some Ayampie People”s Congress (APC) members are not good for themselves and our country (Mama Salone).

  4. I sometimes ask myself whether this man called Kabs Kanu (PASTOR) really thinks what he writes and posts convinces the majority of people in Sierra Leone. I personally will advised him that he is of no good to Sierra Leone because he has now exposed himself to the people of Sierra Leone and the world at large that he was part and parcel of the former government that destroyed Sierra Leone economically, divided her people tribally, practised corruption to the highest degree and damaged our future leaders’ education in the country while their children are in the western world studying.

    “Western nations pay African countries peanuts for their mineral and natural resources while at the same escalating the costs of importing foreign goods into their countries. “When I served as a senior diplomat in the last government of President Ernest Bai KOROMA, it was a very serious problem we struggled with. I was left with the belief that the unbalanced state of international trade was deliberated created and promoted by the West to keep AFRICA perpetually locked in economic strangulation.” This quoted statement from Kabs Kanu’s article is sugar coated Those days are gone when crooks and corrupted people like Kabs Kanu and his cohorts thinks and believes that the people of Sierra Leone will listen to them anymore after all what Koroma’s government did woefully to our beloved country and left us with austerity.

    The people of Sierra Leone will never absorb and believe what you say Kabs Kanu. You were core member of Koroma’s government for 11 years, you knew all this then and you did not say a word to the people of Sierra Leone all what you are saying now. You are extremely hypocritical to say the least. You knew when Koroma was selling the peoples’ SHARES in the mining industries, you never come out to say you are against such move or even advised President Koroma not to sell the peoples’ SHARES in the mining industries, which he did in order for him to acquire bigger shares and left virtually nothing for the country to benefit from the mining industries.

    Shame on you Kabs Kanu if you think that the western world now are siding with President Bio. This man Kabs Kanu is always one of the first person who is so quick in contacting the western world, kind of reporting to them about President so called wrong doings. You can not have your cake and eat it PASTOR. Be a plain preacher.

  5. Kabas Kanu might divide opinions in Sierra Leone, but the thrust of his arguments about how western powers have been pulling the strings, on our so-called independent African countries that works for the benefit of multinational cooperation to the diriment of their people rings true. His message is spot on ..Corruption have played a massive part in our underdevelopment .The same could be said how our western partners over the decades helped to maintained it and turn a blind eye on corrupt African leaders .Take the Democratic People of Congo .A country double the size of Europe and with enormous natural resources , morethan sixty years after independence , and after the assassination of their first Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba the country have never enjoy peace and tranquility. Which have left morethan five million people dead through war and hunger .

    Despite the security uncertainties that have plagued the country , their are still Israeli and American , French , Canadain and many more companies that are extracting their minerals and making billion of dollars in profits for the benefit of their share holders , whilst at the same time the country’s population is subjected to perpetual state of anarchy , little children abandoned in the streets of Kinsahas because their parents can’t afford to put food on the table .Is it wonder majority of the African countries that are engaged in civil wars are minerals rich .The Central African Republic, is full of Diamonds , Mozambique is for the their oil , which a French Company have just started exploration despite the on going war between Islamist , infact are local people who took up arms because they are not seeing the benefits of the dark gold in their country. South Sudan, our own RUF wars , NPLF ,Liberia for their Timber ,Nigeria where oil pipe lines criscross in the open running through villages , which some of those same oil companies will never dream of having exposed pipe lines any where in the world for fear of being taken to court for breaking the rules on health and safety rules . Each year exposed pipe lines kill many villagers in Nigeria.But This is Africa who cares .Their government don’t care about the health and safety of their citizens why will foreign multinational care?

    Love him or hate him , if you just take off your political bais hat , and read his article you will come to the conclusion our African countries are only independent in name .The real masters and shapers of our destiny are Chief Executive of multinational companies sitting in boardrooms in Frankfurt , Berlin, London , Paris , Singapore, New York and Hong Kong .We are not independent African states but dependent African states. And Sierra Leone is one of many. Just look at the armies of western countries and Russia deployed in the African continent .Close your eyes and think of one African country that sends her military for fighting or peace keeping operation in Europe or America ?Today Russia is looking for volunteers to fight in Ukraine.But they will not have Black Africans fighting and killing their fellow slavs in Ukraine.But we Africans are happy to deploy white Russians to fight and kill our fellow Blackmen and Women in Mali and the Central Africa Republic.

  6. Kabs Kanu you would not be saying that if your corrupt government was still in power. Sierra Leoneans shouldn’t take lectures from you. 11 years of syphoning our hard earned cash and God-given resources. You cannot lecture us on corruption – just ask your boss former president Koroma.

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